ETIAS Visa Waiver for Italy

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Italy is officially referred to as the Italian Republic. It has Rome as its most significant and capital city. Italy has a landmass of 301,230 km² and is located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Switzerland, France, San Marino, Slovenia, and Austria in the Northern region. It is also the third most populous country in Europe and has a population of about 59 million as at 2021.
It is significantly diversified in landscape, plant, and animal life. It has a great range of mountains, cities that date back to the Middle Ages, and long stretches of coastlines. It has a lot of islands, and the largest are Sicily and Sardinia. Over one-third of the animal species in Europe can be found within the borders of Italy, crowning it the European country with the highest biodiversity.
Italy is one of the oldest countries in the European Union. It was one of the foundational members of the European Economic Community (EEC) back in 1957. The EEC, later in 1993, became the European Union. It was also one of the first countries to sign the Schengen zone agreement. In 1985, with four other countries, Italy signed the Schengen agreement. The Schengen countries have then grown to 26 countries in the European Union.

Italy Visa and Entry Requirements

Different kinds of visas can give visitors access to Italy, some of which are tourist visas, short-stay visas, long-term visas, and Schengen visas. The Schengen visa is similar to other forms of visa, especially the short-stay visa, as it allows its holders to visit Italy for 90 days every six months, for as long as the visa is valid; it is called the 90/180 rule.
Citizens of the Schengen zone need no visa to enter Italy. Some non-Europeans need not provide a visa before entering the Schengen zone. The governments of their countries have entered a no-visa agreement with the European Union, allowing its citizens to travel to Europe without a visa. These citizens will need to provide an ETIAS visa waiver before entering Italy after 2022.
European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver will be valid for three years before renewing it. It will only be made available to eligible citizens of countries with a no-visa agreement. The ETIAS is only a visa waiver as it lacks the legal backing of a visa.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Enter Italy?

To obtain a Schengen visa is easy. You can apply for and receive your visa at the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country. If these are absent from your home country, you can apply through a third-party agent like Visa Facilitation Services Global (VFS global). Peradventure these are not available in your home country either; you can apply to any other member state of the Schengen area, then travel to Italy on arrival.
There are two main categories of visitors to Italy who need a Schengen Visa:
  • Citizens of countries whose governments have not signed a visa liberalization agreement with the European Union. These countries are called third countries in Europe.
  • Citizens from countries with a visa liberalization agreement with the European Union but have been deported or rejected from the Schengen zone in the past.
Before a Schengen Visa can be handed to you, you must be certified by the consular authorities as a low-risk individual. The visa application process and all required documents ensure you pose no threats to the Schengen area.

What Documents Are Required when Applying for an Italy Schengen Visa?

The documents requested during the application for an Italian Schengen visa provide a lot of information about you. This information will form the basis of approval or denial of your visa; if you pose no threat to the Schengen area, your visa application will be approved.
The documents required for your visa application should be filled in English or Italian, as these are the official languages spoken in Italy. Required documents that have been issued in other languages should be translated before applying for the visa. Here are the documents required when applying for an Italy Schengen Visa:
  • A valid travel passport not older than ten years.
  • Two recent passport photographs with size 3.5 by 4.5 cm. It should be taken on a plain background and should show your facial features appropriately.
  • Payment of visa fee.
  • Proof of medical insurance.
  • Appropriately filled visa application form.
  • A round-trip itinerary that shows major activities during your stay in Italy and the Schengen area. It should state your entry and exit dates, together with the flight numbers.
  • A cover letter that states your reason for visit in clear terms.
  • Proof of accommodation. If you will be staying in a hotel, you should include your booking number, hotel location, and contact details. If you will be staying with a relative, you will require proof of relationship.
  • Your statement of account to show that your finances can cater to your needs during the trip.
  • Fingerprint data
  • A return flight ticket or an onward ticket that shows that you will promptly leave the country.

Travelling to Italy

Italy is a prime location for tourists. In 2019, Italy had about 95.4 million visitors, nearly 160% of its population. Many visitors are drawn in to experience significant cities like Venice, Milan, Rome, and Florence. These cities are among the top 100 cities with the most visits. Visitors can travel to Italy by air, rail, water, and road.
Italy has over 20 international airports scattered across the different regions of Italy. Most visitors choose to arrive by air. Milano Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino: Leonardo da Vinci Airport are the intercontinental airports in Italy. Visitors can take a direct flight to their preferred city instead of travelling across the country by road or rail on arrival.
A train is also an exciting option. It takes about 8 hours to reach Milan from Paris, 3 hours from Zurich, and 4 hours from Geneva. There are no border inspections when coming by bus or a car from other Schengen countries.

Europe's Travel Authorisation for Italy

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) visa waiver will be active by the end of 2022. It will be available to apply online for ETIAS for eligible non-Europeans to enter Italy and the Schengen area in general. It is only available for short-term visits for tourism and business. It only allows its holders a maximum of 90 days at once. Visitors who need more time to stay in the Schengen zone should apply for other types of visas.
In conclusion, Italy attracts millions of visitors annually for many reasons. Some come to visit historic cities and taste medieval times; others come to enjoy the scenery and the people; whatever reason is bringing you, ensure to get your required documents to confirm your entry is approved.